Halloween's soon upon, so I figured I'd talk about things related to this theme.
Are ghosts real? How about other monsters? It depends.
It depends on the person, and the point of view.
In this article, I'm going to prove to you that you and I, we, and everyone else believe(s) in ghosts!... You'll see what I mean.
The Cookie Jar
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”
It all starts when we are young. The young man / lady won't check under his or her bed because there might be monsters in there. Same goes for closets and other dark places.
Over time we learn to face our fears. We will check under the bed and find there are no monsters lurking below. The closet's full of clothes, and nothing more. And in dark, we just can't see so you might step on a nail. That might hurt.
We go from irrational to rational, step by step.
But do we really?
Or do we just switch from believing one type of 'ghost' to another?
Why does the child not listen when mom (it's usually the mom...) tells the kid not to eat cookies from the cookie jar?
It's very simple. You see, mom is real. The kid knows what the risks are: mom might get angry. The kid also knows what the benefits are: tasty cookies in the belly.
Mom's not that scary. The kid knows this, so cookies are free game.
But what if instead of the mom telling the kid not to touch the cookies jar, she tells him not to do so because there might be ghosts hiding inside in the cupboard? I don't know, but I have a feeling the kid would hesitate a lil' more. I also believe the kid would still eat the cookies in the end; the cookies are worth facing the ghosts after all.
Note: I don't recommend doing this as it (lying) might break the trust between you and the kid. But it's a fun thought exercise anyway.
See, our imagination is a powerful weapon. Throughout history we've believed in all kinds of ghosts, gods and mythical creatures. The supernatural fascinates us and draws us in. At first at least. Until our 'rational' mind tells us the ghosts aren't real.
The Tooth Fairy for example. It's a cute thought, but I wonder how many kids actually believe it.
How about Santa? ... Yo, Santa's totally real. He just forgets my address every other year, and when he does come, he brings the same ol' pair of socks as last time. I forgive him because he's old, and I understand his memory might not be what it used to be. It's alright.
What you need to understand is that we are able to create all kinds of stories and connect them with our surrounding events in our heads to make sense of what's happening around us. This is how we operate: through stories that we tell to ourselves in our minds. Some of it is real, some of it is pure fiction.
Right, but what does all of this have to do with you and I believing in ghosts? Fair question. We must delve deeper to answer it.
The Creation Machine
“Make your lives a masterpiece, you only get one canvas.”
Like I already mentioned, our mind is a powerful weapon. A tool of creation and destruction.
In his book Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill details how to get rich by thinking. It's not too complicated either.
This is more or less how it works:
Think of an amount of money you want. It can be any number.
Think of what you will do to get that amount of money.
Write this on paper. Be as specific as possible. It's your plan. Read it out loud, daily.
Act on your plan. Daily.
Believe it or not, it actually works. But that depends on whether you actually believe in it or not, too.
What this "tactic" actually is, is a form of mind control. Yes, a mind control on yourself. You keep repeating and thinking about a specific thing and over time you actually start to believe it. If you also act on those thoughts, there's a high chance you will achieve it.
Of course, if you want a billion dollars (for example) you must be ready to work extremely hard for it. What you plan on doing must more or less realistically match what you want to achieve.
I used this tactic. I really wanted to travel to Japan for some reason. I wrote down my plan (study Japanese, find any way possible to get there), kept repeating it in my head and also acted on it. I didn't have many resources when I got started, so I applied to study at a University specifically with the intention in mind that I'd go and study abroad in Japan. Two years later, I was there.
But that's not the only thing I did. I knew I had to have some cash on hand while travelling to make my trip that extra bit more enjoyable. Once again, I thought of a way to make more cash. I thought of what I needed and what I'd do to get it. It didn't take long for me to have more than enough for the trip.
I know it works, so it will work for you too if you really give it a try.
Use this knowledge to your advantage if you aren't already. Believe in yourself. Oh and, it's okay if your goal is something other than "an amount of money."
All inventions in history got its start from a thought. Somebody imagined it first. Then it became reality.
Once upon a time there were no light bulbs or aeroplanes, or a tire for that matter.
We create things in our mind first, and then in the real world. It's good to keep this in mind.
Downfall of Man
“...you can pretend that bad things will never happen. But life's a lot easier if you realize and admit that sometimes they do.”
Unfortunately, our mind is not just a creation machine. It's also capable of destruction, as we all know.
Like we just learned, we create the problem (thing) in our head first, and then in the real world. Yes, it works in reverse as well.
Most of our problems are imaginary. The kid thinks there's a monster hiding under the bed, which then keeps him awake at night. But, as we all know, there are no monsters hiding under the bed.
However... this (fact) is irrelevant.
For the kid there exists a monster under the bed. He believes in the ghost, and so it becomes reality. He really is afraid of the ghost; it is real to him. And so it shall be, until it stops being the case.
Now I'll explain to you how we never really grow up to become adults. We create more ghosts as we go, and in the process we, together with our mind(s), become our own biggest obstacle in life.
There's a cute girl at school. You keep staring at her "secretly" (trust me, she knows) during class and during recess. Yet, you won't go talk to her. Why? Well, she might not like you. Fair point, I guess. She might not like the way you look, the way you talk or walk, your smile, that pimple on your nose, your clothes aren't the best and of course the timing.... Ah yes, the timing just isn't perfect. It never is, and it never will be.
The reason why you won't approach her is because you are afraid she will reject you. She might, yes. You are correct. Guess what? You will never find out unless you actually try it.
See, she didn't reject you yet. At least give her the chance to do it herself before you do it to yourself.
I think we all understand that this is how it works. And many of us see ourselves in this story.
We create these great stories in our head, how its all going to go and it's going to be perfect and lovely and life's going to be great... but then we're also faced with the reality that we haven't done it yet.
What could go wrong? We start thinking. Oh boy, we're good at that. EVERYTHING could go wrong. And if we give it enough time, it will go wrong. Not because it had to go wrong, but because we willed it to go wrong. WE talked (and thought) ourselves out of doing it. We believed in the ghost, and the ghost became real.
This is how we continue into our adulthood as well. Instead of a girl in the classroom, it becomes a girl at the bar or on the dancefloor. We look for a job, but when we look at the requirements and won't apply - because we assumed we couldn't get the job based on our resume. In reality, most of the time the chosen applicant doesn't fit all the criteria. They just had the gull to apply anyway. Once again, we create our own reality by believing in ghosts.
Then we are told things like you can't learn a language past a certain age. We are told what to do, what to say (or not say) and how to act.
"You can't do it."
"No way, you're too old."
"Just give up. It isn't worth your time."
We listen, and stop trying... based on someone else's opinion. Other people can create ghosts for us too, but only if we allow them.
That being said, from time to time, they are correct. To spot the difference, you need to learn how to distinguish between what's fake and what's reality. Just remember that it ultimately is what's in your head that counts.
Madness of Crowds
“A lion doesn't concern itself with the opinion of sheep.”
George R.R. Martin
In my blog post Your Life Is A Lie, I brought up the idea that almost everything we believe in is a lie.
It all starts with the (currency) printing press, which then distributes currency units as it sees fit. These currency units are actually tools of control, which they (the currency creators) then use to control most of society: the media, the schools, the law systems and even history and culture. It's difficult to tell what is real and what is made up as a result of this. (read the other article to find out more.)
What you need to understand is that because of this control, they have near-perfect control of crowds as well.
But before we go there, let's talk about madness of said crowds:
The human mind is a wonderful thing. It can also be scary. The horrors it can create is truly out of this world.
Humans themselves are social creatures with rather peculiar ways of conducting themselves in social situations.
It's not uncommon for people to start yawning after seeing someone else yawn. Smiling seems to boost our mood when we see it happen, and when we do it ourselves (even if faked). People also seem to just love lining (queuing) up for things - simply because others are doing it. It's a monkey see - monkey do kind of world. What this means is that human behaviour itself can be contagious.
Now, I have to say that a certain percentage of people are not affected by this, but a good majority is. People like to do what other people do in general. Only weirdos (such as myself) like to stand by themselves.
But, while I (you? we?) may be weird, some crowd behaviour is even stranger, and the strangest of them all is mass hysteria.
One example of mass hysteria was the Dancing mania that ravaged throughout Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. For no apparent reason, people started dancing in groups, sometimes even thousands at a time. Children and adults were affected by dancing disease, and they danced until they couldn't dance any longer. Some even got injuries. What caused the mania? Nobody knows for certain, but there are many theories. What's truly bizarre is that it lasted for centuries and the dancing "outbreaks" seemed to happen almost out of nowhere.
In 2018, something odd happened during a flight from Dubai to New York City. The passengers started suddenly feeling nauseous. Some of them developed fever, while others felt otherwise ill. There were few cases of vomiting as well. Once the plane landed in New York City, 11 passengers got sent to the hospital. But that's not all. A total of 106 out of 521 passengers suffered from similar symptoms.
"A few passengers on the "flight from hell" turned out to have common colds or flu, with the other passengers coming to the belief that they were also sick after observing those around them."
From this we can gather that people may be able to get ill from simply observing others be sick.
How much does psychology play part in us getting better or worse?
Could illness sometimes be just that, just another ghost of our own creation?
Then we get back to talking about media. Why mention the media? Because today they are starting to become more and more the reason for mass hysteria among people. They are part of the ghost creation machine.
I already showed you this video in Your Life Is A Lie:
In this article I mentioned how constant repetition is a form of mind control. Today, the media is doing exactly that.
On top of media being repetitive (as if following a script... and sometimes literally following a script) they also spread fear (ghosts) among the populus with constant propaganda.
This can (and has already) lead to mass psychosis:
Mass psychosis, much like mass hysteria (they're similar, but not the same), is all about irrationality. People turn crazy, and they also turn against one another.
After this lasts for a while, people start to get married to their ideas gained from propaganda and they stop listening to reason. It doesn't matter how much real data you show them. The mind control has been completed. After this point, there is no return to normalcy for quite some time. The propaganda machine will continue doing its thing until it can't do it any longer.
On this point (propaganda), Peter Schiff pointed out an excellent example of it used in the USSR in one of his recent podcasts (26:41 ->):
In the 1970s in the USSR the people of Russia were wondering why the shelves were always empty. They also sometimes saw pictures from America, their shelves seemed to always be near-full. What was the cause of this?
The USSR media (well-known for its propaganda... even at the time) explained the situation as thus:
"the reason why the shelves in Russia are empty is because Russians are so wealthy! Look at the poor Americans - they can't even afford to buy food."
Now, to a normal thinking person, if an economy is doing well (meaning, they're wealthy), it means there is an abundance of stuff. To a person who believes the propaganda, the story can be quite the opposite.
This is where we are today with our society, some feel "rich" and "informed," while being nothing of the sort. These are powerful ghosts (or perhaps mind parasites) that plague the minds of people today.
It's easy to see for those with the eyes to see it. Most do not have such eyes. Use yours wisely, and understand you've got a job to do.
We must move on.
Meeting Our Ghosts
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
G. Michael Hopf
It's actually this quote above that I'm going to talk about.
Why do hard times create strong men?
This happens because hard times are when men rise up to the occasion to take care of business.
Hard times are when men get together to solve a problem. Men are stronger as a group.
This is also when all the resources are shared collectively, because hard times actually mean hard times, and people need to work together. It's not easy, and that's the point.
The reason why sharing resources works here, where it doesn't work in collectivism (where government enforces sharing resources), is because it happens naturally. Free markets always beat controlled ones.
And thanks to hard times, strong men eventually create good times. And good times create weak men.
Why do weak men create hard times?
And now we get to the point of this article. Why, indeed, do weak men create hard times?
Weak men are created by good times. Why?
This is because during good times people scatter about. It's easier for these men to work by themselves (or create a business) and amass all the resources to themselves. This is because times are good, and good times allow for this to happen.
Overtime people become more isolated. They don't need to come together to conquer a great enemy, so they do it by themselves. The enemies are small during good times.
This happens while also wealth becomes more isolated. The amount of resources didn't change; the amount of resources any one person personally can have did.
So, the best of the best, the strongest, wisest and cunning, eventually get all the resources and all the necessary knowledge. They benefitted from the good times. And they want those good times to last. Unfortunately for them, times change.
As the resources get split between the strong men of good times, it also means that the weaker men get less and less of resources. This eventually leads to times of strife.
This is when the leading figures of good times start to notice the change around them. They also have the necessary knowledge and resources to move out of the way of trouble. So they do.
And here is where the problem lies. The good men who mostly think of themselves and the good times that were have now moved away, and they've taken their precious resources with them. They see the ghosts. In fact, all they see are ghosts - everywhere. They become paranoid and scared, partly because they are isolated and used to good times. Good times that are now fading away.
This is the moment where I should probably mention what I mean by ghosts (although, I'm sure you've figured it out by now). Ghosts are the things we fear the most. Everyone has them (fears), so everyone believes in ghosts. Just some ghosts are bigger and stronger than others... but that doesn't mean the ghosts are real.
What happens next? The good men, the leaders in good times with all the resources and with the most power to create think only of ghosts, they end up creating exactly what they fear the most. They will in fact, with their thoughts and their actions, end up making all of their fears a reality. I told you the mind is a powerful tool of creation... for better, and for worse.
The reason why good times lead to bad times is precisely because good men run away from their problems when they should be leading the charge towards danger and towards their fears. Yet, they won't do that, because that means their good times will end.
The problem is that you can't run away from your problems. Nobody can.
Why? Because your problems (ghosts!) are in your head. You are running away from yourself. It can not be done.
The only way to deal with your problems is head on; by facing your fears.
"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Eventually, the good times end, and in come the bad times. This is where we are now. It is what it is.
Be that as it may, you needn't worry. While these are indeed the bad times, the best of the best with the least amount of resources have the most to prove, mostly to themselves.
The leaders during bad times don't have many resources, so they must be creative instead. They paint beautiful landscapes in their head of what the future can be. Then they proceed to make those paintings a reality.
Moreover, the ghosts of the past have now become reality and its all there for everyone to see. Much like the mom guarding the cookie jar, the ghosts that you can actually see aren't scary at all. That's because ghosts aren't real and it was all in your head.
And once the ghost is out of your head, it's never going back in.
What did we learn from all of this? Most (if not all) of your problems are created in your head. You are the master of your universe. And guess what? What you spend your time thinking about eventually becomes reality. You and your mind has enormous power. Guard your mind.
I hope this motivates you to think of the good times ahead.